It seems that getting things organized and stored away would be a not so hard task--tedious maybe, but nothing you couldn't do on a whim for sure. However, that is so NOT true! You can make so many mistakes while you are getting organized, that it might get you in a bigger mess than when you started. Here are a few things that can cause you more problems than help you.
Fail to Plan - Picking things up and putting them away is a lot different than organizing your surroundings. Organization takes careful planning to find a solution that will continue to work for you if you get that stuff out and have to put it back. If you just put things away, before you know it, you will either get things out and not put them back again, or forget where you put them in the first place! If you are organizing your kitchen cabinets, you want to be able to find what you want, quickly. For me, I use practical organizing for my kitchen. My dishes and glasses are close to the dishwasher, so they can be put up easily, and certain utensils are kept in the same drawers. The same for my Christmas decorations. All my boxes are labeled and inside the boxes are lists of what type of Christmas décor is in the box. Then they are placed in the same area on the shelves in my garage. So, even though I use it only once a year, it's always the same, easy to find and easy to unpack and pack up again. If you don't have a plan when you organize, well, then be prepared that all that organizing hard work may not last.
Tackling Paper Messes First - Paper is one of the most boring and overwhelming things to organize, so don't start with that first. Organize your paper messes AFTER you have some good momentum organizing other things in your house, so you don't get stuck before you really get started.
Buying Without Measuring - Another problem when we get in organization mode is we buy organizing products to use and don't measure where we plan to use them or even if they will really work into our plan. Then we have this awesome organization system that we don't want to get rid of because "some day" we'll find a spot for it. Just don't buy anything you don't specifically need to organize with and be sure to measure the area where you need that box or crate or whatever to fit! Also measure the items you want to store away so you know for sure they can go in that big cabinet you bought for your garage.
Ignoring Vertical Space - Sometimes when we are busy organizing, we have loads of wall space (maybe in a garage or shed) that can be used too. Placing a peg board on a wall and using hooks can create out in the open storage that can save an abundance of space. Be sure to look at that wall and see if you can use it!
It's a Process -Organizing isn't just something you do and it's done forever. It's a process. You get rid of things you don't use from time to time (and buy new things) and sometimes a storage solution that worked before no longer works for you anymore, so you need to change it. Periodically it's good to go through things an re-organize. So be prepared to be in this for the long haul! The really cool thing about organizing correctly and finding the right storage solutions, is the more you do it, the better you get at it, so it never hurts to keep on trying!--Jen Lush